The death of two high-profile individuals due to suicide this week has sparked a conversation about mental health.
Local suicide awareness advocates say it’s an ongoing conversation which needs more attention.
For one suicide awareness advocate suicide prevention education isn’t just her job.
“In 2010 I lost a dear brother by suicide,” says Lynn Stinski with Kaukana’s Center for Suicide Awareness. “He was an amazing dad, a friend, brother and uncle and son and his loss, as all suicides are, was extremely tragic.”
Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain both died by suicide the same week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report that says suicides have increased in every state except for one.
The 30 percent increase is troublesome and that includes right here in northeast Wisconsin.
“The impact to this area is more so than what the average Wisconsin resident would even imagine.” says Stinski. “Especially in our rural areas, it’s of great concern.”
Stinski says we can all do our part by spotting the warning signs.
Some warning signs of suicide include someone displaying extreme mood swings, increasing drug or alcohol use or talking about feeling hopeless.
Kaukana’s Center for Suicide Awareness started its 24-7 Hopeline in 2014 to give anyone from anywhere the chance to connect with someone who can talk them through thoughts of suicide or just someone seeking mental health help.
And as evidenced by the deaths of Spade and Bourdain it’s important to remember that sometimes people struggle with mental health challenges friends or family may not know about.
“Suicide is very complex, it’s not just one thing, often most of the time that trigger someone to die by suicide, to take their life.”
There are several resources available in our area for those struggling with thoughts of suicide or mental health.
The Center for Suicide Awareness Hopeline’s text number is 741741.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline is open 24 hours: 1-800-273-82-55.
They also have a twitter page @800-273-TALK.